Wow could this really work. I am not sure if I have the guts to try this but it really sound like a great way to do business. It would be freeing to eliminate the RFP lowest bid pressure and just do your highest quality work based on the needs of your client. Many times I have thought that the bidding process and contract gets in the way of good responsive deign. Before you truly engage with stakeholders and subject matter experts you are asked to define a scope of work. So you outline what you think is needed and propose a design and a price. This becomes the project. Then when you dig in you discover additional needs or changes in the scope of work. This is where it can get awkward for both sides. This ridged structure often gets in the way of getting to what is needed. If you could remove all this and just collaboratively and responsively create exactly what your clients needs then you will always have a happy client. I think the tough part would be that most organizations are dealing with layers of bureaucracy, budgetary processes that would make this difficult if not impossible for them to do business in this way. So I guess this potentially better way of working will have its challenges and may not work for every client. That said there is always the fact that it is important to choose clients that are the best fit for how you work. I really appreciate the concept and am going to try and bring some of the ideas into how I approach my work.
Here is the article that inspired these thoughts. This Guy Stopped Charging Clients And He Has Zero Regrets